You are on page 1of 24

A guide to managing safety

Piling work and foundation engineering


sites
Industry standard

Edition 1
January 2014

Contents
1. INTRODUCTION

4.7 Powerlines and electrical equipment

10

1.1 Background

4.8 Underground services and buried structures 11

1.2 Purpose

4.9 Delivery drivers

11

1.3 Who should use this industry standard?

5. SUPERVISION AND TRAINING

12

2. THE LAW

5.1 General

12

2.1 General

5.2 Work supervision

12

2.2 Status of this industry standard

5.3 Competencies

12

2.3 Reporting incidents to WorkSafe

5.4 Management of training and skills

12

3. PLANNING FOR SAFETY

5.5 Familiarisation training

12

3.1 General

5.6 Supervising trainees

13

3.2 Consulting employees

3.3 Principal contractor

6. EQUIPMENT, INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE



14

3.4 Site management

6.1 General

14

3.5 Hazard identification and risk management

6.2 Pre-operational inspection

14

3.6 Hazards

6.3 Routine maintenance

14

3.7 Controlling the risk from hazards

6.4 Annual inspection

15

3.8 Common injuries

6.5 Major inspection

15

3.9 Safe work method statements

6.6 Competent person for inspection

15

3.10 Safety management

6.7 Non-destructive testing

15

3.11 Foundation technique selection

6.8 Repairs

15

3.12 Design of working platforms

6.9 Welding

15

3.13 Communication

6.10 Plant modifications

15

6.11 Maintenance records

16

4. SET-UP AND OPERATION

Further information

17

4.1 Location

Appendix A Operator log book

18

4.2 Equipment

Appendix B Piling working platform certificate 19

4.3 Piling and foundation working platforms

4.4 Assembly and disassembly of rigs

4.5 Operational safety zones

Appendix C Sample training outline and


assessment criteria for training rig
operators

20

Acknowledgements

21

4.6 Exclusion zones

10

WorkSafe Victoria is a trading name of the Victorian WorkCover Authority.


WorkSafe Victoria
The information contained in this publication is protected by copyright. WorkSafe Victoria hereby grants a non-exclusive
licence in this publication to the recipient on the condition that it is not disseminated for profit. WorkSafe Victoria
encourages the free transfer, copying and printing of the information in this publication if such activities support the
purpose and intent for which the publication was developed.

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

1.2 Purpose

Piles and deep foundation engineering (PF work) includes


a number of piles, ground improvement and retaining wall
techniques.

This industry standard provides practical guidance on


health and safety to the piling and foundation engineering
industry. It covers the safe operation and maintenance of PF
equipment, and training of employees.

Piles transfers loads from a structure (including a retaining


wall) to a suitable soil or rock profile and includes bored
piles, contiguous flight auger piles, displacement piles, driven
piles, sheet piling, diaphragm walling, barrettes and grout
piles.
Ground improvement is the practice of improving the
soil profile (to carry loads), slope stability and other uses.
It includes dynamic compaction, dynamic replacement,
controlled modulus columns, soil mixing, stone columns,
vertical drains and vibro compaction.

It sets out industry-wide guidelines for establishing and


maintaining a safe working environment wherever PF plant
and equipment is used.
This industry standard is based on the current state of
industry knowledge and construction methods. It is not
intended to exclude other methods or processes that meet
the requirements of providing a safe workplace. It is also not
intended to be an all-encompassing design, maintenance
and operation manual.

Piling and foundation engineering equipment (PF rigs) can


be used to install more than one of the above techniques.
Some PF rigs can be configured to install different types of
displacement and replacement piles as shown in the figure
below.

Note: This industry standard should be read in conjunction


with the industry standards, Precast and tilt-up concrete for
buildings and Concrete pumping.

Examples of PF works include:

This industry standard should be used by employers and


workers in the PF industry. It can also be used by principal
contractors or others who may be managing PF works and
by health and safety representatives (HSRs).

building and bridge foundations


site retention

1.3 Who should use this industry standard?

ground and slope stabilisation


foundations for engineering structures
civil and environmental works.

Foundation
type

Displacement

Ground
Improvement

WorkSafe Victoria

Precast
Concrete

Preformed

Replacement

Rotary
Displacement

Driven Cast
In-situ

Rotary Bored

CFA
(continuous
flight auger)

Diaphragm
Walls

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

2. The law

2.1 General

an injury requiring immediate medical treatment

The law requires employers to provide and maintain a work


environment that is safe and without risks to the health of
employees (including independent contractors and their
employees), so far as is reasonably practicable, including:

treatment by a medical practitioner within 48 hours of


exposure to a substance

providing or maintaining plant or systems of work that


are safe and without risks to health (eg implementing
inspection and maintenance regimes for PF rigs, and
other PF equipment)
making arrangements for the safe use, handling and
storage or transport of plant
maintaining the workplace under their management and
control in a condition that is safe and without risks to
health
providing adequate facilities for the welfare of employees
at the workplace under their management and control
providing employees with information, instruction, training
or supervision that is necessary for them to work safely
and without risks to their health
monitoring the conditions at workplaces under their
management and control.
Duties are also imposed on suppliers of plant who know,
or ought to reasonably know, the plant is to be used at a
workplace. These duties extend to hirers and booking agents
of PF equipment.

other incidents (see Guide to incident notification) where a


person was exposed to an immediate risk, including:
the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or
damage to registered plant
the collapse or failure of an excavation, or any shoring
supporting an excavation
the collapse or partial collapse of any part of a
building or structure
the fall or release from height of any plant, substance
or object.
An employer or self-employed person must ensure the site
is not disturbed until a WorkSafe inspector permits it, except
for:
protecting the health and safety of a person
aiding an injured person
taking essential action to make the site safe
preventing further occurrence of the incident.
The employer or self-employed person must also give
WorkSafe a written record of the incident within 48 hours of
becoming aware of such an incident. The incident form can
be completed online at worksafe.vic.gov.au.

2.2 Status of this industry standard


This industry standard provides information to assist duty
holders in the PF industry to provide and maintain safe
workplaces and achieve a minimum level of health and
safety compliance. An alternative method may be followed
if it achieves an equivalent or higher level of occupational
health and safety (OHS). Where the word must is used,
the guidance must be followed, so far as is reasonably
practicable.

2.3 Reporting incidents to WorkSafe


An employer or self-employed person must immediately
notify WorkSafe after becoming aware of an incident at a
workplace under their management and control that resulted
in:
a workplace fatality

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

3. Planning for safety

3.1 General
Planning and preparation should be done early in the
development of each project and include consultation with
relevant stakeholders such as the principal contractor (PC),
piling and foundation contractor (PFC), services authorities,
geotechnical consultants, structural engineering consultants,
demolition contractors and other relevant subcontractors.
A project should be considered in its entirety when
considering how to control risks and how many employees
to engage.

3.2 Consulting employees


Employees must be consulted on OHS matters that directly
affect them. This includes identifying hazards and risks, and
determining risk controls. If employees are represented by
an HSR, the consultation must involve the HSR. Employers
should involve all employees in the development of
safe work procedures such as hazard identification, risk
assessment and risk control methods.

3.3 Principal contractor


The PC is responsible for the overall site safety and should
coordinate with other site employers on the management of
site safety, including the PFC and other contractors impacted
by piling work. The PC should ensure other persons onsite or
the public are not put at risk from piling work and associated
activities.
The PC must ensure everyone onsite is aware that PF works
will be taking place and the site safety rules around the
associated hazards.

3.4 Site management


Each employer on-site needs to effectively manage the
safety of their employees, plant and equipment. These
duties remain even when they overlap with those of other
employers.
For example, if a PC has a supervisor on-site the PFC must
still supervise their employees to ensure their work is being
done safely.
Employers should have processes in place to effectively
manage the work over which they have management or
control, including processes to ensure:

WorkSafe Victoria

safe work method statements (SWMS) are developed for


all high risk construction work
safe work practices are developed for other tasks where
there is risk to employees or the public
employees are competent or are directly supervised by
competent employees
site conditions are monitored (eg risks are controlled or
new hazards are not introduced)
employee welfare is monitored (eg amenities are
adequate and maintained).
If using powered plant ensure it is mechanically sound, safe
for use and has the required safety documentation.

3.5 Hazard identification and risk


management
An employer must eliminate risks to health or safety
associated with PF work, so far as is reasonably practicable.
If the risk cannot be eliminated then the employer must
reduce the risk so far as is reasonably practicable.
Employers must have effective systems in place to identify
hazards and determine whether there are significant risks
that require further action.
To ensure appropriate hazard management the employer
should, in consultation with an HSR (where applicable)
and employees involved in the work, do an assessment of
the risks. Once a risk has been identified, employers must
implement, monitor and review risk control measures.
A risk arises when it is possible that a hazard will actually
cause harm. In order to assess risk, employers must
consider the likelihood of harm occurring and the possible
consequence of that harm.
When assessing the likelihood of harm occurring, factors
such as how much, how often and over what time period a
person is exposed should be considered. A risk assessment
should be made on the basis of knowledge and experience
of the hazard across the industry.
Risks will be present when handling, transporting, erecting
and operating piling and foundation equipment. Although
component failure is rare, the potential consequences are
significant.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

Planning for safety

3.6 Hazards

3.7 Controlling the risk from hazards

Some of the most common high consequence hazards to be


managed during PF work include:

Where there is a risk to health and safety, employers should


eliminate the risk so far as is reasonably practicable.

falls, including when inspecting or maintaining piling rigs


and falls into pile holes or excavations

If the risk cannot be eliminated, the risk must be reduced so


far as is reasonably practicable by:

being struck by powered mobile plant, including working


in close proximately to PF rigs and delivery vehicles

implementing any mandated controls specified by law

contact with utilities services (eg overhead powerlines and


underground cables or pipes)

substituting a new activity, procedure, plant process or


substance (eg change to another type of piling rig or
piling method)

entanglement in the rotating parts of the PF rigs

isolating persons from the hazard

crushing when moving materials, including when


unloading piles from trucks and stacking them onsite

using engineering controls

collapse of partially assembled PF rigs


falling loads due to use of inappropriate lifting gear.

a combination of the above.


Control any remaining risk by using:
administrative controls (eg provide specific safety training,
work instructions, post warning signs)
personal protective equipment (PPE) such as highvisibility clothing (eg reflective types), hearing and eye
protection (eg safety sunglasses, ear plugs), work gloves,
protective head and footwear (eg helmets and safety
boots)
a combination of the above.
Note: The processes for managing risk for other specific
hazards such as noise or asbestos are set out in the
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007.

Typical pile hole guard with footplate

Control measures must be discussed with employees and


evaluated to ensure they are effective and do not create
additional hazards.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Planning for safety

3.8 Common injuries


Plan how to manage the cause of common injuries, such as
manual handling of materials or equipment, using high force,
slips and trips, and falling into excavations, off ladders or
from mobile plant.
Factors that can increase the risk of injury when handling
large, bulky or heavy items (eg generator sets, pumps, pipes
and hoses) are:
poor planning

The SWMS describes how the task is to be done safely and


must:
identify the task
identify the health and safety hazards, and risks arising
from the task
describe how the risks will be controlled
describe how the risk control measures will be
implemented
identify who is responsible for ensuring each control
measure is implemented and maintained.

poor storage or location of equipment


moving over rough, boggy or loose surfaces and terrain
poor access to the work or storage areas

The SWMS process and template can also be used to


document other safe work procedures.
When developing a SWMS, consider the following aspects of
the planned work:

poor layout of storage areas


excessive distance items need to be moved

PF rig selection

obstacles that have to be negotiated

crane selection or configuration

location or design of storage on vehicles


using high force or sustaining awkward postures or
movements.
Factors that can increase the risk of slips, trip and falls are:
poor site housekeeping
climbing onto and getting down from mobile plant
inadequate and poorly maintained access areas
mud on the floors of facilities and on the steps of mobile
plant
climbing in and out of excavations or crossing rough
terrain

PF work platform design


appropriate lifting gear accessories (eg size, type and
condition of slings)
site access/constraints
other site operations
environment
proximity to the public, roads, railways, underground
utilities and overhead assets
training and qualifications of site team
briefing of site team

excavations that are not adequately barricaded

site working hours (eg night work)

worn or inappropriate footwear.

pile type and construction method.

3.9 Safe work method statements


Most PF work will be high risk construction work due to
the use of powered mobile plant, working at heights and
excavation work. Before doing high risk construction work, a
safe work method statement (SWMS) must be developed for
each high risk task and then followed.
If a generic SWMS is used, it must be reviewed and modified
as necessary before the task starts to reflect the specific
site conditions. It should also record where the task is being
performed and the date of review. The SWMS must also be
reviewed if site conditions change and modified as required.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

Planning for safety

3.10 Safety management

3.11 Foundation technique selection

The PC and PFC should consult on the piling works and


agree on the responsibilities for managing safety for each
activity associated with the work. The PC should clearly
identify who will be responsible for managing safety for each
of these activities and coordinate with the PFC to ensure the
risks are effectively controlled.

During the planning phase of the project, select the most


appropriate foundation technique for the site.

Employers should develop plans and procedures to manage


the works and associated risks, including:
internal and external vehicle or plant traffic
loading/unloading of plant, cages and piles (eg
designating lay-down areas for storage of materials)
maintenance and operation of the PF rig

When determining the technique consideration should be


given to all the site factors, including:
requirements of the proposed structure and applied
loadings
ground conditions
environmental factors, such as nuisance to the public,
effect on wildlife and their habitat, noise or vibration and
waste products (eg spoil)
site access, location and size

erection and disassembly of the PF rig

proximity to existing assets, such as utilities, roads,


railways and sensitive structures

high risk construction work (eg preparation and


implementation of an SWMS)

ground contamination

operational safety and exclusion zones around PF


equipment
access to and around the site to reposition the PF rig

water table.
A competent person should assess the suitability of specific
PF equipment for the particular job.

plant and equipment

3.12 Design of working platforms

PF working platform (eg design, certification and


maintenance)

A critical factor in any foundation technique is the surface


required to support the PF rig and ancillary equipment
(working platform) during operation or when moving about
the site. Inadequate working platforms can cause PF rigs
to become unstable and collapse with catastrophic results,
including the potential for multiple deaths or injuries to PF
employees, other people onsite and members of the public.

ground penetrations and pile holes (eg fall protection)


falls from height and falling objects
underground and overhead services (eg locating, marking,
relocating, protecting or isolating)
emergency procedures
affects of the works on nearby buildings, structures or
excavations
movement of mobile PF plant (eg into areas not visible to
the operator)
suitablity of ground conditions for plant movement or PF
work activities
protection of the public.
Employers should also consider how many suitably trained
workers they need to allocate for each activity.

The PC, PFC and other contractors must ensure the working
platform is adequate, as all have legal duties associated
with providing a safe workplace (see 2.1). During the
planning phase consult and agree on the minimum design
requirements for the platform, and ensure a competent
person (eg a geotechnical engineer) designs the working
platform.
A key factor of platform design is the maximum bearing
pressure generated by the PF rig or ancillary equipment.
The PF contractor should provide this information and
other relevant equipment specifications to ensure a suitable
platform is designed.
Equipment bearing pressure calculations should be based
on those experienced during operational activities, rather
than weight to track area that can be significantly lower than
those experienced during operation.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Planning for safety

3.13 Communication
Communication between the PF rig offsider, the rig operator,
supervisors and other employees is essential and may
include:
non-verbal - visual signals or audible signals (eg
whistles) that cover the piling rigs functions. If using hand
signals and you are out of view of the operator, you should
be assisted by another offsider to relay directions
verbal - standard operational phrases or the optional use
of a dedicated two-way radio system.
Note: Competencies that cover effective communications
can be found in the dogman training package.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

4. Set-up and operation

4.1 Location

4.3 Piling and foundation working platforms

After consulting with the relevant contractors, employees


and HSRs involved with the PF work, the PFC should ensure
the location selected for the equipment set-up is suitable,
including:

As PF rigs can be 120 tonnes in weight and 44 metres high,


it is critical the rig remains stable while operating and during
movement. To ensure rig stability a competent person (eg a
geotechnical engineer) should inspect the platform after it
has been constructed and approve it for use. The competent
person should state in writing the platforms maximum plant
loading capacity and/or the specific equipment that it has
been designed to support (see appendix B for a working
platform certificate example).

the area is accessible and any slopes are within the


operating capacity of the equipment
the surface is firm, able to support the weight of the
operating PF equipment and any delivery trucks
the area is clear from obstructions and excavations
the equipment can be operated without encroaching the
no-go zone areas near overhead powerlines
underground services or buried structures are identified
(eg obtaining information from the PC)
an effective operational safety zone can be established
if any public protection needs to be implemented.

4.2 Equipment
Ensure all mobile plant, including PF rigs are in a
mechanically sound condition and have:
comprehensive operators instructions or the
manufacturers operation manuals
correctly positioned and legible warning/safety signs or
stickers

Provide the plant operator with a copy of the working


platform approval document, prior to the PF rig accessing
the platform. The operator should review and keep the
approval so it is readily available throughout works.
Before using another rig other than the one designed for
that platform, verify the rig is suitable for the platform. Due
to weight to track area ratios, smaller rigs often have higher
bearing pressures than larger rigs.
Ensure no PF works occur in areas where other site
activities (eg trenching) have affected the integrity of the
platform. PF work can only occur in the affected area when
the platform has been fully reinstated and approved for use
by a competent person.
The working platform should be monitored and maintained
for the duration of the piling work to ensure it does not
deteriorate and continues to function as originally designed.

all required safety equipment fitted


an adequate supply of packing for any stabiliser base
plates
current plant risk assessment
up to date equipment maintenance logbooks
WorkSafe Victoria registration or interstate equivalent
where applicable (eg mobile cranes with a safe working
load rating over 10 tonnes even when fitted with a pile
driver attachment).
Detailed maintenance and inspection records do not have to
be with the plant but should be available, if requested.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Set-up and operation

PF rig collapse due to working platform failure

4.4 Assembly and disassembly of rigs


The PFC should develop or have access to detailed
procedures for the assembly and disassembly of the PF rig.
These procedures should be based on:
the manufacturers recommendations
controlling the risks of working at height
working around powered mobile plant
ensuring the PF rigs structural stability during the process
verification that the equipment is correctly assembled.
A SWMS must be developed before the work starts and
followed during the assembly or disassembly process.
Employees must be appropriately licensed, trained and
instructed in the assembly or disassembly procedures for the
specific piling rig and supervised to ensure they work safely.

4.5 Operational safety zones


Establish an operational safety zone around the PF works to
keep PF activities separate from other onsite construction
activities and to separate mobile plant from people.
Only those involved in the PF work should enter the safety

WorkSafe Victoria

zone. Precautions should be in place to prevent unauthorised


persons or mobile plant from accessing the safety zone area.
Operational safety zones should be clearly marked by a
physical barrier and signage. If a physical barrier is not
reasonably practicable, the operational safety zone boundary
should be indicated with appropriate signage warning people
to keep out.
An operational safety zone should be large enough to
provide adequate clearance distances to prevent mobile PF
plant from impacting other site works or activities.
When establishing the operational safety zone, consider the
risks from the work including:
the working radius and movement of all mobile plant
participating in PF work
separation of hazards from adjacent non-PF activities
such as excavations, site traffic thoroughfares, pedestrian
access walkways and other construction activities (eg
demolition)
any specific exclusion zones in place as part of the PF
works
safe access and egress to and from the operational safety
zone.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

Set-up and operation

The operation safety zone must be included as one of the


controls for working in the vicinity of powered mobile plant in
relevant SWMS.

4.6 Exclusion zones


Within the operational safety zone smaller areas should
be established as exclusion zones to identify high risk
areas adjacent to or within the working radius of PF rigs
that persons should not enter when the equipment is in
operation.
Exclusion zones are administrative controls and the PFC
must supervise the work, as necessary, to ensure their
employees are observing the exclusion zone restrictions.
The exclusion zone must be included and described (eg
radius or area) in the relevant SWMS.

DANGER

NO ENTRY

AUTHORISED
PERSONNEL ONLY

PF rig enclosed in operational safety zone

4.7 Powerlines and electrical equipment


When operating mobile plant near overhead powerlines the
SWMS must detail how you will do the task safely, including
how you will comply with the requirements of the no go
zone rules.
No part of a mobile plant or its load should come closer than
6.4 metres of pole-mounted powerlines or eight metres of a
tower-mounted line, unless complying with no go zone rules.
Ensure excavation works or working platform construction
does not alter ground levels or reduce safe clearances under
powerlines.
See WorkSafes guidance, Using earthmoving equipment
near overhead electrical assets for information on work near
pole-mounted powerlines. For work near transmission towers
or within the tower easement, contact the asset owner.
When working near electrical equipment, allow adequate
clearance around sub-stations, service pillars and lighting
poles. Powerlines and electrical equipment is considered
live unless the asset owner confirms in writing that
electricity has been isolated.

4.8 Underground services and buried


structures

Example of an exclusion zone

If operating PF equipment near underground services or


other buried structures, the locations should be marked and
readily identifiable to PF plant operators.

10

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Set-up and operation

No-go zone clearance from overhead electrical cables

4.9 Delivery drivers


When delivering to a site, it is essential that all plant
and material delivery drivers follow the directions of the
employees responsible for controlling traffic and the PF
process. This is critical when multiple trucks are discharging
or manoeuvring at the PF site. Drivers should:
ensure visible and audible warning devices work
stand clear of PF mobile plant, where practicable
wear seatbelts
wear required PPE (eg high visibility/reflective safety
vests)
keep to designated vehicle routes
obey speed limits and traffic directions, and keep clear of
other plant
report safety concerns/problems to the PF supervisor for
action
understand and comply with the site traffic management
plan.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

11

5. Workers supervision and training

5.1 General

5.4 Management of training and skills

Employers must ensure employees are provided with


information, instruction and training that is necessary to
enable them to work safely, including instruction or training
on the employers safety procedures. Training should include
ongoing or refresher training provided periodically to ensure
work continues to be performed safely.

Employers should keep a register of employee competencies


and licenses. Where employees do not have competencies
or skills required for specific tasks associated with PF
operations, appropriate training and/or instruction must be
provided to enable each employee to do their work safely.

5.2 Work supervision


Employers must supervise their employees and the work
over which they have control. This includes directing and
monitoring the work to ensure it is done safely.
To effectively supervise safety, it is important supervisors
have:
an appropriate level of OHS knowledge
knowledge of and experience in the work being done

Where internal training is provided, either a formal or


informal supervised training plan should be developed
for each employee. The plan should have details on how
competencies are to be assessed, such as the minimum
hours of supervised training the employee will require to
become proficient in the operation of major items of plant
(eg PF rigs).
Successful completion of specific learning outcomes
and other training should be documented as evidence of
employee competency.

an appropriate level of management and supervisor skills

Persons supervising training or providing mentoring should


be competent and experienced in the particular task or in the
operation of the plant, and if required hold the appropriate
high risk work licence.

an understanding of safety procedures, acceptable


industry practices and this industry standard.

Trainees should not be allowed to operate PF equipment


unsupervised.

an understanding of their role and expectations of them

5.3 Competencies
Employers must ensure workers are provided with
information, instruction and training that is necessary
to enable them to work safely, including a construction
induction (CI card) and instruction or training on the
employers safety procedures.

Recognition of prior learning can be achieved with the


assistance of training and assessment qualified personnel.
This is relevant to operators who have acquired on-the-job
experience before the implementation of formal training
within a company. Under these circumstances the operator
might progress direct to the assessment (see appendix C).

Verify workers also have:

5.5 Familiarisation training

a current WorkSafe high risk work licence if doing high


risk work (eg rigging) or operating high risk plant (eg
mobile cranes)

Similar PF equipment can be fundamentally different in their


design, mode of operation, control layout and configuration.
Before allowing a person to operate any PF equipment, the
employer must ensure suitable and adequate training on
the specific equipment, including any attachments, has been
provided.

other required licences or worker registrations (eg


VicRoads)
if operating plant, competencies for the plant being used
and any specialised attachments (eg PF rig with whip line)
the necessary training to undertake the task safely.
Skills and competencies should be verified before the
workers arrive at site or before the work begins.

12

The employer should provide familiarisation training to


equipment operators, offsiders, dogmen, riggers, mechanics,
fitters, employees and supervisors when they start work with
the employer, if the employer introduces new equipment or
they have not worked with the equipment before.

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Workers supervision and training

This training provides employees with the opportunity to


become familiar with the equipment controls, operational
parameters, assembly procedures and the employers
systems of work for the specific equipment.

5.6 Workers supervising trainees


Employers must ensure supervisors maintain a high level of
supervision of trainees in order to take immediate action to
contain or rectify a dangerous situation.
The supervisor should be authorised by the employer before
undertaking the supervisor role.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

13

6. Equipment, inspection and maintenance

6.1 General

brakes

Regular inspections and preventative maintenance of


PF plant and equipment are essential for the safe and
efficient operation, and to ensure mechanical integrity of
all components. Failure of key components may cause an
incident and possible collapse of the rig or its parts.

safety switches and interlocks, including limiting and


indicating devices

A maintenance and inspection program should take into


account the plants working environment and usage. It
should be based on the manufacturers recommendations or
designed by a competent person to either achieve the same
safety outcomes or compliance with the relevant Australian
Standards.
The maintenance program should include:
pre-operational inspections and tests

visual inspection of the structure, including pipelines and


connections (where applicable)
wire ropes to ensure they are on the drum, correctly
reeved on the sheave and in good condition.
The results of the inspection must be entered into a logbook
and kept with the piling rig. All safety-related faults must
be reported and corrected before the piling rig is used, and
recorded at an appropriate time.

6.3 Routine maintenance

major inspections at specified intervals

All PF rigs should be inspected and maintained by a


competent person at intervals specified in the maintenance
program. The competent person should ensure the
maintenance is done to the manufacturers requirements
and the specified items are inspected and/or tested. This
includes:

all items listed in the manufacturers manual.

emergency devices

The following should be recorded in the plants service book


and in more detail in the maintenance records:

operator controls

routine inspection, servicing and maintenance at specified


intervals
periodic/annual inspections

inspections and maintenance

components associated with lifting (eg wire ropes and


sheaves)

defects found and repairs undertaken

interlocks and travel limiting devices

structural alterations.

access to the machine for operation and maintenance

Note: A copy of the manufacturers manuals should be kept


in the PF rig before any PF works starts. PF rig contractors
should ensure service records and maintenance manuals are
maintained, kept in a safe and accessible place for the life
of the plant, and provided to the purchaser when the plant is
sold.

critical components (eg brakes, gears, fasteners, pins and


shafts

6.2 Pre-operational inspection


A pre-operational inspection should be done prior to the
start of each shift and include inspecting and/or testing:
all relevant items indicated in the operations and/or
manufacturers manual, or attached to a daily check sheet

track wear
areas affected by corrosion, damage, wear or abrasion
rig and its components after transportation (eg return
from site)
metal fatigue in critical wear or stress points
additional items required for inspection by the
manufacturer.

plant access
clear visibility from the operators position
operating and emergency controls

14

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Equipment, inspection and maintenance

6.4 Annual inspection

6.7 Non-destructive testing

A competent person should inspect each PF rig at least


every 365 days. The competent persons inspection should
review the routine maintenance reports and verify any
identified defects and faults have been repaired.

Non-destructive testing (NDT) should be carried out by a


competent person and should take place within a 12 month
period and concentrate on structurally critical elements of
the rig, such as structural welded connections on the mast.
The results of NDT should be kept by the employer in the
detailed maintenance records.

To ensure the PF rig is safe for continued operation it should


be inspected and tested based on the rigs age, usage and
known critical wear areas or components.
In the absence of verifiable records of previous maintenance,
inspection repairs or modifications, the PF rig should be
assessed to its suitability from continued service.
Note: The annual inspection can be done during routine
maintenance.

6.8 Repairs
Any repairs made to plant should be done according to the
manufacturers maintenance and repair manuals or detailed
instructions from a competent person.
All repairs and any replacement of components should:
be carried out by a competent person

6.5 Major inspection


Owners of older PF rigs must ensure their equipment is safe
for continued service, as the rig or some critical components
of the rig may have exceeded their design life. The frequency
of assessments for continued service (major inspection)
should be based on the manufacturers recommendations or
the requirements of a competent person experience in the
type of plant.
The competent person should inspect all high stress areas,
critical mechanical and structural components, including
visual, selected strip-down and other testing (eg nondestructive testing) as required or necessary to make an
accurate assessment of the plants condition.
The major inspection can be incorporated into the
maintenance and inspection program.
The competent person should provide a written report on
the details of the inspection for the rig owners records. The
report should be signed by the competent person and state
the specific PF rig is safe for continued service and when
the next major inspection is required.
Cranes, even when used with PF attachments, must achieve
compliance with AS2550 Cranes, hoists and winches Safe
use series.

6.6 Competent person for inspection


A competent person should have the knowledge, skills and
the experience necessary to accurately assess the condition
of the plant and its components. Different skill sets may
be required depending on the inspection criteria or the
components being inspected.

use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or


those that are compatible with OEM and with at least the
same specifications
be recorded in the service book and detailed in the
maintenance records.

6.9 Welding
Welding of load bearing components, should be done by a
suitably qualified welder to AS/NZS 1554 Structural steel
welding and recorded in the service book and detailed in the
maintenance records.

6.10 Plant modifications


The modifier of the plant may take on legal obligations of
designer, manufacturer and supplier when they alter plant;
including doing a risk assessment and providing safe use
information.
Modifications to road carrier vehicles need to comply with
the requirements of the National Transport Commission.
Engineering calculations may need to be done to
verify the modifications comply with relevant technical
standards and associated strength and operational
requirements. Modifications with the potential to affect
safe operation of equipment should be approved in writing
by the manufacturer or a qualified mechanical engineer.
Engineering calculations and approvals should be kept for
the life of the equipment.

The competent person could be an independent consultant,


the rig manufacturer or a person employed by the owner of
the rig.
WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

15

Equipment, inspection and maintenance

6.11 Maintenance records


Inspection and maintenance records should:
clearly describe the work undertaken and parts replaced
record the date of inspection and maintenance
note who did the work and any recommendations for the
preventative maintenance program register
be signed by the person carrying out the work
be kept for the life of the plant
be readily available.
Note: Records should be transferred with ownership of the
PF rig.

16

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Further information

WorkSafe publications

Definition of terms

Compliance Code, Prevention of falls in general construction

AS: Australian Standard

Code of Practice, Plant

AS/NZS: Australia/New Zealand (joint standard)

Industry standard, Tilt-up and pre-cast concrete for buildings

Competent person: A person who by their training,


qualification or experience has the knowledge and skills to
carry out the task (eg assessing the suitability of the piling
rig).

Industry standard, Concrete pumping


WorkSafe position, How WorkSafe applies the law in relation
to reasonably practicable
Controlling OHS hazards and risks
Working safely in the general construction industry
Guide to incident notification
Safe handling when securing loads on trucks
Preventing falls from earthmoving equipment
Using earthmoving equipment near overhead electrical assets

Other publications
Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation information,
Working platforms for tracked plant: good practice guide to
the design, installation, maintenance and repair of groundsupported working platforms

Employees: All direct employees and any contractors and


the contractors employees.
Principal contractor: The owner of the project is considered
to be the PC unless they appoint another person to manage
and control the workplace, which means that person
becomes the PC. This appointment should be in writing.
Non-displacement piles: Piles which are installed by
removal and replacement of material.
Displacement piles: Pre-cast or pre-formed piles which
are driven or screwed into the ground by piling hammering
equipment. These displace the ground into which they are
driven.
Reasonably practicable: In determining what is reasonably
practicable in relation to ensuring health and safety, regard
must be had to the following matters:
a) the likelihood of the hazard or risk occurring
b) the degree of harm that would result if the hazard or risk
occurred
c) what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to
know, about the hazard or risk and ways of eliminating or
reducing the hazard or risk
d) the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or
reduce the hazard or risk
e) the cost of eliminating or reducing the hazard or risk.
SWMS: A safe work method statement outlines a process
for identifying and controlling OHS risks. A SWMS must be
prepared before undertaking high risk construction work if
anyones OHS is at risk because of the work.
Working platform: The surface at a construction site where
piling and foundation equipment operates. The working
platform is typically constructed from compacted soil or
crushed rock.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

17

18

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

Job no

Operator signature:

Operator name:

Date

to

Plant no.

Operating
mode

MACHINE DETAILS
Type

Week from

Operator name:
Distribution:
White copy HR
Yellow copy log book

Tasks undertaken
(eg rigging/de-rigging, special operating procedure, general
operations).
NB if you are training someone else, or being trained yourself, please,
detail the training here (eg training topic, tainer/trainee name).

Supervisor signature:

Supervisor name:

Please note: This form is to be completed by all personnel who operate


any type of machinery submitted weekly to your supervisor

Actual
operating
hours

Operator log book

Appendix A
Operator log book

WorkSafe Victoria

Appendix B
Piling working platform certificate

WORKING PLATFORM CERTIFICATE


Project Name
Section/Activity
1 WORKING
working platform
design
Part 1PLATFORM
DESIGN
Equipment to be used
on site:
Maximum plant loading:

Note:
material developed
developedby
bythe
the Federation
Federationofof Piling
Piling Specialists
Specialiststoto assist
assist with
with the
the
Note: Reference
Reference material
thethe
prompts
to
calculation ofofbearing
is available
on www.pilingfederation.org.au
calculation
bearingpressures
pressures
is available
on pilingfederation.org.au- follow
- (follow
prompts
Safe
Working
Platforms
to
Safe
Working
Platforms)
PART
WORKING
PLATFORM
INSTALLATION
Part 2 2 working
platform
installation
Working Platform
Platform on
onthe
thework
worksite
sitedetailed
detailedabove
abovehas
hasbeen
been
designed
and
installed
The Working
designed
and
installed
to to
safely support the equipment detailed on this certificate and will be maintained and
and
reinstated
the as installed
aftercondition
any excavation
or damage,
throughout
the
repaired,
and to
reinstated
to the condition
as installed
after any
excavation
or damage,
period
that the
onequipment
the site. is on the site.
throughout
the equipment
period that is
the
Signature
Signature:

Name
Name:

Position:
contractor:
Position
Principal Contractor
Organisation:
Organisation

Date:
Date
Address
Address:

A completed copy of this certificate signed by the Principal Contractor must be


givento
toeach
eachuser
userof
ofthe
thespecific
specificWorking
working Platform
platform prior to commencement of any
given
works
works on
on that
that platform.
platform.
Received by
Signature
Signature:
Organisation:
Organization

WorkSafe Victoria

Name:
Name
Principal
contractor:
Piling Contractor

Date:
Date

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

19

Appendix C
Sample training outline and assessment
criteria for trainee rig operators
A trainee piling rig operator must demonstrate competence in the safe use and operation
of the following

Yes/No

Safety operations
Understands critical components and safety controls in the rig as per the operators manual.
Demonstrates a full understanding of the piling rigs safety devices as per the operators manual.
Emergency procedures
Understands procedures to follow in the event of an emergency requiring shutdown of the piling
rig.
Is aware of what hazards constitute implementation of emergency procedures.
Pre-start inspections
Understands and has demonstrated all system checks to be carried out prior to starting the piling
rig.
Start-up procedures
Carries out all pre-start checks and started piling rig as per manual.
Has demonstrated the ability to shut down piling rig in a safe and secure manner.
Position the piling rig
Understands the relevant controls for moving the rig on site to a pile position.
Has demonstrated the capability to manoeuvre the piling rig from a parked position to a pile
position safely having due consideration for the surrounding conditions and safety of ground
personnel.
Assembly/disassembly operations
Can explain and understand the steps involved in assembling and disassembling the rig.
Demonstrates ability to carry out complete cycle of rigging and de-rigging in the field.
Piling rig operations
Understands all system checks to be carried out prior to starting the piling rig.
Able to position, lower and engage drill tools in a safe manner for the purpose of piling.
Relocate the piling rig
Demonstrates a clear understanding of the walking capabilities of the rig, such as speed, ramp
slopes, uneven ground.
Can recognise suitability of working platforms and any limitations imposed on travel routes/
working areas.
Maintenance
Demonstrates the ability to monitor all aspects of the piling rig during operation to ensure faults
are identified and rectified as soon as practical if fault can potentially compromise safety or
cause damage to the piling rig.

20

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

WorkSafe Victoria

Acknowledgements

This industry standard has been published by WorkSafe Victoria on behalf of Foundations for Safety Victoria. It was developed
with the assistance of a working group of contractors, industry associations, unions and WorkSafe Victoria. The working group
included representatives from:
Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation (PFSF)
Bauer Foundations Australia Pty Ltd
BRC Piling & Foundations Pty Ltd
Frankipile Australia Pty Ltd
Geotech Pty Ltd
Vibro-pile (Aust.) Pty Ltd
Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd
Piling Contractors Pty Ltd
Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU)
Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV)
Victorian Construction Safety Alliance (VCSA)
WorkSafe Victoria
Consultation with WorkSafe Victoria ensured overall compatibility with OHS legislation and technical alignment with Australian
Standards. Foundations for Safety Victoria has endorsed this document as an industry standard in piling and foundation works.
Foundations for Safety is a group comprising representatives from Victorias key construction organisations.

Disclaimer
The information presented in this industry standard is intended for general use only. It should not be viewed as a definitive guide
to the law and should be read in conjunction with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. Whilst every effort has been
made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the industry standard, the advice contained herein may not apply in every
circumstance. Accordingly, the Victorian WorkCover Authority cannot be held responsible, and extends no warranties as to the
suitability of the information for your specific circumstances; or actions taken by third parties as a result of information contained
in this industry standard.

Copyright
The information contained in this publication is protected by copyright. The Victorian WorkCover Authority grants a non-exclusive
licence in this publication to the recipient on the condition that it is not disseminated for profit. The Victorian WorkCover Authority
encourages the free transfer, copying and printing of the information in this publication if such activities support the purposes
and intent for which the publication was developed. WorkSafe Victoria is a trading name of the Victorian WorkCover Authority.

WorkSafe Victoria

A Guide to Managing Safety Piling work and foundation engineering sites industry standard

21

WorkSafe Victoria
WorkSafe Agents
Agent contact details are all available at
worksafe.vic.gov.au/agents
Advisory Service
Phone
(03) 9641 1444
Toll-free
1800 136 089
Email
info@worksafe.vic.gov.au

For information about WorkSafe in


your own language, call our Talking your
Language service

Head Office
222 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 3000
Phone
Toll-free
Website

(03) 9641 1555


1800 136 089
worksafe.vic.gov.au

WorkSafe Victoria is a trading name of the Victorian WorkCover Authority

WSV1552/01/09.13

1300 559 141


1300 650 535
1300 661 494
1300 660 210
1300 662 373
1300 722 595
1300 724 101
1300 725 445
1300 781 868
1300 554 987
1300 782 442
1300 782 343